Browse Prior Art Database

Inside-Out Fuser Roll Drive

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035236D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bruning, TE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Fuser rolls in printers or copiers have limited life and need to be replaced often during the life of the machine. In all printers and copiers this is a task performed by the service representative, and the cost of this service is a significant portion of the service cost of the product.

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Inside-Out Fuser Roll Drive

Fuser rolls in printers or copiers have limited life and need to be replaced often during the life of the machine. In all printers and copiers this is a task performed by the service representative, and the cost of this service is a significant portion of the service cost of the product.

It would be desirable to rely upon a customer replaceable hot roll to eliminate the need for service calls to replace the rolls. However, traditional fuser construction does not lend itself to inexpensive replacement units; especially when the roll must be driven mechanically as in a printer or copier having two heated rolls.

The mechanism described herein consists of a hot roll construction and fuser roll drive mechanism, as shown in Fig. 1.

The fuser roll is a cylindrical substrate 1 coated with an elastomeric material
2. Into each end are pressed a reflector/drive plate 3 with a splined central hole such that a male splined shaft 4 can engage the plate and drive the roll. Nearer to each end of the roll are pressed an insulator 5 and bearing assembly 6. The roll is supported on hollow stub shafts 7 at either end through these bearing/insulator assemblies.

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This construction of the roll places the high failure rate items: coating, bearing and insulator, all in the customer replaceable assembly. Moderate misalignment of the stub shafts can be tolerated by the bearing internal clearance, and the interface between the replaceable assembly and the fuser is steel on steel and can always be a little loose, in contrast to the insulator to substrate interface.

The roll is driven through a hollow male spline 4 that engages with the drive plate 3. The spline is supported from a stationary drive shaft 8 by a metal bellows 9. This coupling is able to compress, shear and bend to accommodate misalignment. In addition, it is hollow and will permit a heating lamp 10 to pass through its center. The coupling can be designed for infinite life and is not harmed by the heat of the fuser. The bearing 11 supporting the drive shaft is subject to the nominal loads due to the belt and bellows loading, and as a result, can be expected to function reliably.

Roll construction permits rolls to be reversed end for end and is inexpensive enough to permit driven and idle rolls to be identical.

Roll r...